The Herald Moth: Scoliopteryx libatrix
This evening when I peered up, there was a beautiful, delicate looking moth tucked up in a corner of the eave. It looked dead, and given that the eave was in use as a spiders' bug larder, that was my assumption. I nudged it slightly with my pinky finger, and it tipped in to my hand, motionless.
Wanting to identify it, I brought it in to the house, took a photo and posted to Instagram. Some smarty pants on IG immediately identified it as Scoliopteryx libatrix, common name The Herald Moth. When I finished staring at my IG feed, I looked back to the piece of paper that I had placed the moth on and...it was gone. I looked around on the floor, my lap, the table, and then looked up and found the little Lazarus fluttering around the ceiling light. I quickly set it free outside.
I learned later that Herald Moths will seek out cool, dark structures (i.e. my side door eave) to hibernate in through the winter, and take wing again in spring. So...I had awoken this one from its peaceful torpor, but it had me duped! I'll know better next time not to disturb, and hope this one found another suitable spot to winter. Ice and snow are finally thawing around here. I'm keeping my eye out for Heralds.